**CAUTION: Ugly, naked feet below. View at your own discretion.**
They aren’t pretty, these here feetsies of mine. Really high arches, lots of calluses, bunions, big nail beds and long toes. Sweaty feet, which means stinky feet. Oh. And I have a hammer toe. My friend Beth always says that if ever needed, they’ll be able to ID my body by that toe.
I used to be embarrassed of my feet, so I would hide them whenever I could. Like in the line for the water slides at Wild Waves when I was at the age of just starting to become conscious of my body. Somewhere along the way, in my early to mid twenties, I stopped caring. I stopped being ashamed of them. I stopped hiding them.
I turned 30 on Tuesday. Jon and I did a backpacking trip in the North Cascades of Washington. We hiked into Stehekin, a town only accessible by foot, boat or plane. The last day of my twenties was fully devoted to hiking my ass off. Eight or nine hours of hiking in the heat, mostly uphill. I didn’t go into thirty without a fight.
I think my feet knew they were turning thirty. They put real meaning into this whole Dirty Thirty thing. I also think I need either different shoes or different socks or different something. I can’t get different feet. When I took my shoes and socks off along the way, I found them white and wrinkled and wet as though they had been in water for weeks. They looked dead. The bottoms were covered in blisters. The toe nails sore. Aching, burning and throbbing. These three sensations happened all at the same time.
It’s a few days later now, and I am wondering if my toe nail will fall off of the big toe on my right foot. It’s feeling pretty funky and looking a little… uh… purple. Pray for it.
My feet look even uglier than normal, yet I want to cradle them and soothe them and thank them for what they have allowed me to experience. Who cares if they aren’t pretty? They have literally carried me to every place I have ever been in my entire life. Think about how many places your feet have brought you over the course of your life.
People always say you learn to accept your body as you get older. That’s for the twenties. I accepted my ugly toes, and I am proving it by showing you the ugliest pictures I can of them, nice and big on your screen. This would have once been my worst nightmare.
People also say you start to take care of your body better when you get older because you start to realize there is a need to do so. I think that’s going to be what the thirties are really about for me. Health and function versus beauty and appearance.
I would gladly appreciate tips on improving foot condition during long hikes, as well as your own thoughts on getting older! Please share 🙂